Back in December we profiled Fairview, North Carolina ultra runner Peter Ripmaster and documented his astonishing goal to run 1,000 miles through the heart of Alaska in the middle of winter.

Now Ripmaster is deep into his 1,000-mile trek of the historic Iditarod dog sled route which runs from Knik to Nome, Alaska.

Unlike the dog mushers of Iditarod fame, Ripmaster is attempting complete his journey on foot while hauling 30 to 40 pounds of requisite survival gear in a sled behind him.

According to reports coming out of Alaska today, Ripmaster endured what could have been a life-ending ordeal on Friday, March 4, when an ice bridge he was using to cross Alaska’s notoriously torrential Tatitna River collapsed, sending him directly into the frigid rapids below.

Adventure blogger and journalist with the Alaska Dispatch News Craig Medred, who published one of the first reports about Ripmaster’s incident, said the North Carolina runner was able to pull himself from the dangerously cold and swift waters of the Tatitna before logging some of his fastest miles yet en route to the shelter of a nearby cabin.

“His eyes were wide,” an Invitational checkpoint volunteer who was manning the cabin at the time told Medred. “We got to him and started stripping him down. He was pretty shaken up there for a while.”

At last account Ripmaster was said to be back on the trail, continuing his quest for completion of the epic 1,000 mile journey.

According to Medred, there as a failed attempt to reach Ripmaster by phone on Saturday which missed him by only five minutes as he passed through the Athabascan Native village of Nikolai deep in the Alaskan interior.

For more info on Ripmaster read our feature story in the December issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine.

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